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Protecting Places of Worship: PDK Lockdowns

PDK for Church Lockdowns in front of a church

In recent years, the security landscape for churches and other places of worship has substantially evolved. Houses of worship need high-security solutions that help ensure the safety of congregants while maintaining their inclusivity as a community hub. Centralized lockdowns, available with all ProdataKey (PDK) access control systems, play a crucial role in safeguarding places of worship, giving leaders and congregants the power to respond proactively to emergencies.

safety in sanctuary with mom and daughter in a church

The Changing Needs of Church Security

Churches have traditionally been open and welcoming spaces, encouraging congregants to gather for worship and neighborhood events. Their role as an inclusive community space has, unfortunately, made worship places more vulnerable to threats, ranging from theft and vandalism to more severe incidents like active shooters.

Places of worship may also be more vulnerable because of their sometimes limited resources. Many are dependent on volunteers from the community to act as security personnel. “They may not have access to the tools and resources that maybe a school does, such as resource officers,” said ProdataKey Partner Success Manager Cole Nebeker. Hence, organizations need systems, like PDK, that are both effective and easy to use.

More and more churches are taking active measures to address these security challenges. “There were some external situations that got our attention in the area of security,” said Roger Horning, lead pastor of Foothills Church,

“we want people to feel confident that when they come here, we will do the best we can to keep everyone safe.”

Roger Horning

With high-security features like full-system lockdowns, ProdataKey is a standout solution for places of worship.

System Lockdown in a church

PDK System Lockdowns

For places of worship, having an effective emergency security plan is crucial. Full lockdown capabilities are one of the most critical components of any security infrastructure, especially for churches. ProdataKey’s lockdown feature allows users to lock all facility doors and disable exterior readers quickly and efficiently, allowing congregants to effectively respond to any emergency, such as an active shooter. The lockdown will restrict access to all users unless specifically configured until the situation is resolved.

Integrators or system administrators can easily configure system lockdown events within the web browser or the ProdataKey mobile app. There are multiple ways to trigger a system lockdown— within the app or web browser, by entering a duress PIN on a keypad reader, multi-swipe, or hitting a physical panic button.

“I usually recommend setting up a couple because hypothetically, if the internet were down, it’d be important to also have an on-premise solution, like a panic button or duress code that could activate a lockdown,”

Cole Nebeker

The option to issue a lockdown provides peace of mind for houses of worship, allowing them to be proactive against security threats. For example, users can instantly lock down every door if an active threat is in the area or personnel sees potential harm approaching. They don’t have to go to every door to ensure it is secured.

“We love the security PDK provides. Our security people can hit a button and lockdown the entire church if any kind of emergency takes place,”

Roger Horning

System lockdowns facilitate the response to an emergency. PDK systems can be configured to notify all congregants, staff members, security personnel, and even local law enforcement if the facility is under lockdown, signaling the congregation to follow emergency procedures immediately. Only administrators with specific permission can lift the lockdown. Users will receive a notification when the situation is cleared, and the lockdown is deactivated.

PDK + Amberbox

AmberBox Universal Threat Detection

ProdataKey offers a robust integration with AmberBox Universal Threat Detection that further strengthens security for places of worship. AmberBox Universal Threat Detection uses AI-powered sensors to detect and report certain threatening sounds, including glass breaking, gunshots, explosions, and aggressive voices. Some sensors can even detect the kind of weapon and where the shots came from. When the sensors detect this activity, the system dispatches emergency responders and notifies the ProdataKey access system to go into complete lockdown mode. The combined power of these two systems speeds up and improves the effectiveness of the response, which can make a life-saving difference in emergencies.

Churches and other vulnerable public spaces face potential dangers that require robust security measures and are increasingly turning to ProdataKey access control systems. Lockdowns are an essential security component, giving congregations the confidence and peace of mind to respond effectively in an emergency.


PDK for Church Lockdowns sheet


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